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Let’s Visit Ashanti Region

MANHYIA PALACE: The palace was built in 1925 by the British some time after the Third Anglo-Ashanti War in 1874, when the British had destroyed the original palace built by Ghanaians. The British were said to have been impressed by the size of the original palace and the scope of its contents, which included “rows of books in many languages.”, but due to events in the War of the Golden Stool, the British demolished the royal palace with explosives. The palace consequently erected is a kilometre from the Centre for National Culture, Kumasi.

Upon the return from exile of the Asantehene Nana Prempeh I from the Seychelles Islands, the building was offered to him for use as his residence. This was because prior to the Asantehene’s exile, his old palace had been burnt down in the Yaa Asentewa War. The war was fought between the British and the Asantes because of the refusal of the Asantehene to offer the Golden stool to the then governor of the Gold Coast. Prempeh I only accepted the offer after he had paid for the cost of the building in full. Two kings lived in the palace, namely Otumfuo Prempeh I and Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, KBE, the 13th and 14th kings of the Asante nation.

The old palace was converted into a museum in 1995 after the new palace was built. Opoku Ware II was the first king to live in the new palace, which he occupied until his death in 1999. The current Asantehene, Osei Tutu II, currently resides in the new palace.

RATTRAY PARK: is a recreational and a modern amusement park located in Kumasi in the capital city of the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The park was constructed by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly in its bid to restore Kumasi as the Garden City of West Africa. It was inaugurated by the President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama and the Asantehene Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II on June 20, 2015.

OKOMFO ANOKYE SWORD SITE: Okomfo Anokye was born in the late 1600 in Awukugua-Akuapim, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. His father, Ano, was from the Awukugua-Akuapim part of the Ayade Tribe and mother, Yaa Anubea, was from the Asante Agona part of the Ashanti(Asante Tribe). At the time of his birth, his two palms were firmly held together and could not be separated. Curious to know what he was holding in his hands. Inside his palm were totem poles believed to be from the gods.Later in life, he attained priesthood and was given the title “Okomfo”. His full name became Okomfo Anokye. His ancestral home (the house he was born in) is opposite the Awukugua Chief Palace. A shrine is also located at Awukugua and is a frequent site of meeting for the Ohum festival in October. The shrine consists of a palm tree, which he climbed without his sandals, and a large rock, from which he carved a game of Oware located in Awukugua-Akuapim.

The Denkyeras later heard of his wonders and requested his aid. Through Anokye’s help, the Denkyeras successfully defeated the Ashantis. Anokye went to Osei Tutu’s aid in Kumasi, through Akwamuhene capital of the Ashanti Empire, with a group of his tribesmen and women. King Osei Tutu gave Anokye land to settle on after he helped them to defeat the Denkyera. This land was named Nzemaa. According to oral tradition, after the Ashanti defeated the Denkyera, the Golden Stool descended from heaven to land on Anokye’s lap. He gave it to the Ashantis. He also put a sword in the ground as a symbol of unity between the Nzema and the Ashanti. The oath also prevented the Ashanti from fighting the Nzema and allows Ashantis and Nzemas to marry each other with one single plantain as dowry.And that was how it came by.